A regular visit to the sauna protects against dementia and Alzheimer's
Many people use the sauna to regenerate and relax. But such a sauna session can lead to completely different health benefits. Researchers have now found that regular visits to the sauna can help to significantly reduce the risk of dementia.
Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland found in an investigation that four to seven weekly saunas can reduce the risk of dementia by up to 66 percent compared to people who only go to the sauna once a week. The doctors published the results of their study in the medical journal Age and Aging.
Doctors have been studying the effects of sauna visits for 20 years
A 20-year follow-up examination with 2,000 middle-aged male volunteers showed that four to seven weekly visits to the sauna can significantly reduce the risk of dementia. The more the test subjects visited the sauna, the lower their risk of developing dementia, the experts say.
Saunas can protect the heart and memory
It has long been recognized by medical professionals that frequent saunas significantly reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and the risk of death from coronary artery disease or other cardiac events. Saunas seem to protect the heart and memory to a certain extent. However, the mechanisms for this are insufficiently known, explains the author Professor Jari Laukkanen from the University of Eastern Finland.
Sauna visitors live longer
Our cardiovascular health affects the brain. For this reason, the feeling of wellbeing and relaxation when visiting the sauna could also play an important role, adds Professor Laukkanen. Another study had found some time ago that sauna lovers lived longer. Regular sauna increases well-being and can strengthen the immune system in the long term. However, the exact reasons for the extended life are still unclear.
Study examined more than 2,000 men from eastern Finland
The effects of sauna sessions on the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia have been studied in more than 2,000 middle-aged men living in the eastern part of Finland. The study participants were divided into three different groups. One of the groups only visited the sauna once a week. The second group made two to three sauna visits per week. The last group went to the sauna four to seven times a week, the scientists report.
Experts find greatly reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's
The participants from the last group, who went to the sauna four to seven times a week, had a 66 percent lower risk of developing dementia, the researchers say. In addition, the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease was reduced by 65 percent compared to people who only went to the sauna once a week. (as)